Church Burned In Levy County
It was over a hundred years old, but all that's left is ashes. The Adamsville AME church in Chiefland burned to the ground March 14th, intentionally. The owners gave Chiefland Fire Rescue the go ahead to use the old church as a controlled burn site for training. But some are questioning whether they had the right to do so. A member of the Levy County Historical Society says the church was torched without the County's permission and that the building should have been preserved, not destroyed. But the owner says, It's his property and he can do whatever he wants with it.
Toni Collins is a member of the Levy County Historical Society and says, "there is proof at the state archives that the church is 104 years old." Collins also said, "I just think that anybody that would burn down a church, that's a satanic move." Chief James Harris of the Chiefland Fire Department says he's been chastised by Collins for burning the church but that he was just doing his job. Harris says, "there was nothing but an old building that was falling down and they asked me to burn it and we do the same thing for everybody."
Harris said they've done numerous controlled burns of old structures, and to him, this was just another building. He says the owner of the church, Bobby Brown, wrote him a letter requesting the church be burned. Brown is president of the Adamsville Cemetery Club. In a phone interview Brown says, "black history is our history, we do what we want to do with our history."
Collins said, "there is nothing that can be done now, they closed a chapter in their black history." The Levy County Commission has cleared Chief Harris of any wrong doing.
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